Pfizer OTC up for sale: How the OTC industry could be transformed

Near the end of last week, a Reuters news story broke indicating that Pfizer would be opening an auction process for its OTC business as early as this November, and that preliminary discussions had already taken place. GSK and RB have been tipped as frontrunners in securing a deal, though P&G, Sanofi, J&J and Nestlé have also been cited as possible bidders.

In Friday’s OTC.Newsflash bulletin, Nicholas Hall stated that there could possibly be 3-4 strategic buyers in the final bidding, and that the eventual selling price of Pfizer’s OTC unit could rise above US$20bn.

During GSK’s Q3 2017 results presentation, CEO Emma Walmsley confirmed that the company is interested in bidding for Pfizer’s OTC division and “building up our Consumer business”. However, there was a note of caution when the GSK CEO stated that “our first focus in capital allocation was clearly around our biggest business in Pharma, and R&D within that”. 

Using the latest DB6 figures for the MAT Q2 2017 period, now available on the OTC DASHBOARD website, we have created a graph below showing how the global Top 5 in the OTC industry would be transformed if GSK was to snap us Pfizer’s OTC business (assuming, of course, that there wouldn’t be any divestments):


As you can see, the deal would put GSK far ahead of its rivals, and make it the standout OTC marketer in what it is currently a very tight and competitive Top 4. Likewise, we also analysed the data to see the impact of RB acquiring Pfizer’s OTC unit on the global Top 5 and again the result would likely be a clear new global No.1:


As ever, it’s hard to be sure how the situation will unfold, and it’s possible that Pfizer may even decide to hold on to its OTC business, but whatever happens we’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news and analysis here at OTC DASHBOARD.


Nicholas Hall’s Latin American conference: Day 1

Our special correspondent Holly Parmenter reports back on Day 1 proceedings at Nicholas Hall & Company’s 2nd Latin America conference in Miami, Florida.

With the theme of From Recession to Recovery: Analysing Latin America’s Return to Growth, the conference opened with Nicholas Hall’s update and annual report. The annual report discussed the recent OTC successes, and the changes and challenges impacting consumer health. Nicholas Hall focused on fast-growing categories such as the success of intranasal allergy sprays, OTC contraceptives and the implication of switch for erectile dysfunction treatments.

Nicholas Hall Miami

Key speakers of the day were Alonso Botero of Tecnoquimicas, who shared his views on the Colombian OTC market, explaining its monumental growth and how it has become the fifth fastest-growing country of the century.

Former General Manager of GSK Consumer Healthcare Brazil, Simone Torres Soares, gave a presentation on digital opportunities within OTC brand marketing and discussed how digital can impact our business model and change the OTC industry.

Ed Rowland, Founder and Managing Partner of Rowland Global LLC, covered the upside of devaluation and growth in Mexico stating that e-commerce is coming with a force, looking to drive growth in Mexico through social media in a 3-5 year timeframe.

Abbott Nutrition General Manager, Carlos Andrade, gave some perspective on the current economic crisis in Brazil, while also stating the country’s resilience.

Thorsten Umland, VP and Head, Business Development & Licensing Consumer Health, Bayer, concluded the presentations with a Global OTC M&A Landscape.

We will be bringing you a fuller, more in-depth report on proceedings in next week’s blog.

GSK helps Indian runners breathe better


Mist machines touting the logo of nasal decongestant, Otrivin, cleared the air of pollution for athletes in India this spring when GSK sponsored the Amity Gurgaon Half Marathon. The full length of the marathon track was sprayed by Otrivin cannons before the event and then, as testing indicated poor air quality during the race, the cannons were moved to those locations where the mist cleared the air of floating particles of pollution.


Otrivin has always helped people to Breathe Better,” commented Saurabh Nandi, GSK Marketing Lead, Pain and Respiratory. “A marathon is extremely relevant for us to partner with, as runners need clean air to breathe as they run, and more so in a city like Gurgaon. This association is more than just a classical sponsorship; we want to help people enjoy their run more by providing cleaner air.”

“Our insight was simple; when we go for a run after heavy rain, the air feels so much cleaner. The question was – can we make it rain artificially in a specific location, during a time-restricted event? ” added Jan Teulingkx, Global Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi, Switzerland, which developed the campaign

To learn about other ways OTCs are helping fight the effects of air pollution and other respiratory conditions in Asia, click below to read the latest issue of Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT Asia-Pacific:

Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT Asia-Pacific


OTCs in Action Episode 64: Relieving Zika pain


OTCs are in Action treating minor symptoms of the Zika virus, which has spread to 66 countries, according to the World Health Organization’s April 21 status report. In fact, the insect-borne disease has become so prevalent that OTC brands are investing in TV advertising detailing their benefits for symptom relief. For example, Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT Latin America reports this month: GSK’s A+P campaign in support of paracetamol-based Dolex systemic analgesic (known globally as Panadol) highlights its efficacy against symptoms of vector-borne viruses such as zika, chikungunya and dengue.

Nicholas Hall Events will host its 2nd Latin American OTC Conference, From Recession to Recovery: Analysing Latin America’s Return to Growth, on 9-10 June in Miami. Nicholas Hall will be joined by senior professionals with intimate knowledge of the local OTC environment, to offer delegates ways of navigating this dynamic yet unpredictable region.

Following the theme ‘From Recession to Recovery’, our speakers will analyse Latin America’s return to growth showcasing examples of local and global brands, highlighting ways in which they have found success in this region and what lessons can be learned. For more information, please click on the link:
Latin American OTC Conference: From Recession to Recovery


Big Growth for the New Year – Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT Latin America

Cath INSIGHT Header 2014We have just published the January / February issue of OTC INSIGHT Latin America. Our Market Report focuses on Gastrointestinals and it has been a good year for the industry with each Big 4 country and all sub-categories posting growth. Lots of activity has been seen in antacids & antiflatulents where a flurry of innovative launches and line extensions have increased competition. Marketers are expanding their consumer base by extending brands into niche segments, such as Bayer’s Alka-Seltzer Boost in Mexico, positioned to relieve hangovers, while on-the-go line extensions from GSK and Hypermarcas in Brazil offer consumers convenience.

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